Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Surviving the Tahoe Rim Trail 100-miler

I still can’t believe it…I lived through my first 100-miler! Last Saturday (and Sunday!), I joined 400 other runners for a beautiful day at the 2007 Tahoe Rim Trail 50k/50m/100m near Incline Village, NV. Thanks to optimal weather and an extraordinary performance by the volunteers and directors, we had a fun-filled day of smiles, tears, and breakthrough performances. I now know why those belt buckles are so cherished – it’s hard not to get emotional when thinking about what an adventure it was and the support of everyone involved.


I had raced the TRT 50k in 2005 and the 50m in 2006, so it was destiny to sign up for the full 100m this year (well, that’s how the logic worked in my head anyway). I hoped that familiarity with the course, both the "glimpse of heaven" and "taste of hell", would help shake the butterflies in my stomach that were in full flight all week. I know I had done the training, but it’s a whole ‘nother thing when you see four drop bags packed full of an entire season’s worth of Clif Blox, sunscreen, and S! Caps for just one race. What had I gotten myself into?!?

Luckily, I wasn’t alone in my adventure. My father, Larry Dunlap, came down from Oregon to crew for me. Although he hadn’t crewed before (and I wasn’t sure exactly how to coach him), you couldn’t ask for a better wingman. He’s a retired ER physician, an avid climber and outdoorsman, and is up for just about any adventure one can conjure. He knows us ultrarunners are crazy, but as he says, “it’s the good kind of crazy”. On top of it all, he’s my Dad, so I knew he would give it to me straight if things were going sour.

I was also racing this event as a private tribute to my late step-father, J. David Rowe, who passed about 10 years ago. I have thought of Dave often since becoming a father last year, including memories that had long been forgotten. Only as a parent do I now realize how influential he was in his day-to-day advice and actions, and I feel a little ashamed that I hadn’t appreciated him more while he was alive. So I tweaked an idea that Kristin Armstrong and Paige Alam showed me at the Boston Marathon, and wrote down one great “Dave” memory for each mile –100 in all – to have in my pocket. I figured I could honor him by baking those memories in my brain and heart for good, plus have a ghost pacer to keep me company on the lonely miles between aid stations.

(Uber-runner/bloggers Addy, Gretchen, and Jessica)

It was fun to see everyone at the pre-race meeting on Friday, and I found great comfort in knowing that there would be at least 30 familiar faces out there with me racing various distances. A few runners stopped by my place afterwards, including the super-talented runner/bloggers Addy, Jessica, and Gretchen. Addy was running her first 50k, Jessica was crewing for friends while her foot healed, and Gretchen was going all out for the 50m. It was so cool to see them F2F!

3:30am came fast on Saturday, and my Dad and I packed our gear and headed to the start. It was surprisingly warm (~55 degrees), and the sky was clear. No sense in being nervous now – we were either ready or not, and the trail would soon tell us which. As we counted down to the 5am start, there was an eerie calm and many heartfelt “good lucks” among the runners. Then Dave Cotter sent us off!

(Warming up at the 5am start)

Eric Clifton flew off the start line like a banshee, with Jasper Halekas (defending champion), Sean Meissner (Tahoe Triple and 72-mile Ultra Champion), Jeff Riley (M7 at Western States last month), John Fors (back to finish this year), Steve Roark, Cian Montgomery (one week off of Siskiyou Out and Back 50k), Rob Evans (newly engaged and smiling ear-to-ear), Mark Gilligan (fresh off the Death Ride), Eric Chitwood (his first 100m), and four others forming a group behind him. Once the sun came up enough that we didn’t have to borrow each others light, the group spread out as we ran past Marlett Lake at mile 3.

(Rob Evans, Cian Montgomery, and Jeff Riley head up to Marlett)

How does one pace the first 5 miles of a 100-miler? I went for “awkwardly slow”, running the flats and downhills at a 9 min/mile pace, and fast-walking the uphills. That wasn’t fast enough to keep up with the front pack, but did keep my heart rate at a comfortable range. Kathy D’Onforio was soon on my tail, and we passed the miles by chatting about family, fun, and running. Marlett Peak was just coming out of the morning shadows as we summited and headed down to Tunnel Creek (mile 11). The aid station volunteers at Tunnel were amazing, and had us heading down the steep Red House Loop (the promised “taste of hell”) in no time.

(The sun rises to meet us at Marlett Lake)


(Morning on Marlett Peak)

The Red House Loop was tough, but not nearly as hot as previous years. The scenery was lush, despite the fact that water levels were at an all-time low. I paced along with Cian Montgomery, who had taken a short break from the Oregon Ultra Series to race the TRT. We both commented that this is a high altitude course (6800-9400’), and that can make staying hydrated a tricky thing. I was drinking about 50 ounces/hour, nearly twice what I drink at sea level. Similar to the Silver State 50m, I made a mental note to “push fluids” instead of “quenching my thirst” to keep up the pace. We both knew that the big test that awaited us at the top of Red House – the first of many scales that would ensure we weren’t dehydrated.

(Red House going up)

(The 50k runners head down as we head up the sand ladder)

My wristband said 153 lbs, and it was important I stay close to it. A 3% loss meant I had to focus on getting more fluids, a 5% loss meant I was going to take a seat and catch up, and a 7% loss got me a free ticket off the course and to the hospital. I handed my Camelpak to my Dad and stepped up on the scale. It felt like I pulled the handle on a slot machine – c’mon 153! It turned out I was 152.5, so I was close. My Dad loaded me up with some pb&j squares, while Jessica snapped some pics and wished me well. So far, so good!

(Heading out to Mt. Rose)

The next out-and-back section (mile 16-25) was peaceful and fun. My pace was definitely faster than expected, but I was chalking that up to the wonderful weather (60-70 degrees, with a slight breeze). I was pacing with Kelly Patrick, a 24-year-old from Wisconsin who had found 100-milers to be a great extension from the Ironman’s he had done in previous years. I got talking a bit too much (big surprise) and caught a toe on a rock and fell, but it looked much worse than it was. I brushed off and kept going.

(Jasper sets the pace early)

Around mile 23, Jasper Halekas was already heading back with Eric Clifton just a few minutes behind. Phil Shaw and Sean Messiner were also looking good, not too far off the lead pace. About eight more went by before I made it to the Mt. Rose aid station (mile 25), and loaded up on soup and PB&J’s. My dad pointed out that I got there in 5:15 – about an hour ahead of pace! I guess “awkwardly slow” still wasn’t slow enough.

(Look at this aid station buffet! Photo courtesy of Addy)

The 50-mile race, which started an hour later, began to catch up to us as Thomas Reiss led Jeff Kozak (defending champion) and Devon Crosby-Helms up to the aid station. Gretchen wasn’t too far behind either, and looking great. The trail was now full of ultrarunners, and there was lots of chatter! Everyone seemed to be enjoying the calm weather, but suffering a bit from the altitude. The encouragement helped us all keep a strong pace.

(A smiling face around mile 35)

Before I knew it, I was back at the Tunnel Creek aid station (mile 35). Kelly Patrick and I had stuck together, occasionally catching a glimpse of Eric Chitwood in front of us. We got our refills, weighed in (I was a pound low, but Kelly was three pounds off), and fast-walked back up towards Hobart. Kelly was kind enough to pose for a few pics as we hit the top of Marlett Peak again.

(Kelly poses atop Marlett Peak)

At the Hobart aid station (mile 40), I was definitely feeling hungry. Perhaps it was the 100-memories-of-Dave card that was reminding me of his German pancakes, pork chops and applesauce, and homemade pizza that kept me full in my teenage years. Eric Chitwood recommended the banana/strawberry/Ensure smoothie, and it hit the spot! Usually I can’t stomach Ensure, but it was tasty with the fruit. Kelly dug into his bag to grab one of his many Red Bulls, then led us up Snow Peak.

(Still smiling at mile 43)

On the way, Thomas Reiss went blazing by to lead the 50-mile, and Devon Crosby-Helms came by in second. Devon slowed down to fast-walk with us up the steep sections, chatting away about how fun this was. As we entered the Snow Valley aid station (mile 43), Jeff Kozak stormed up the hill to pass Devon, and she went into chase mode.

(Devon Crosby-Helms atop Snow Peak)

As Kelly and I descended, I commented that I couldn’t believe we were going to do a second lap. Right about then, Garett Graubins went by and said “it will all feel better at mile 51”. Great advice! We also caught up to Addy, who was smiling ear to ear and enjoying the fact that she had already run farther than she ever has. If she’s smiling now, I have no doubt she’s hooked!

I whizzed by the last aid station, and pulled into the start/finish area in 9:55. This was WAY ahead of pace, and 45 minutes faster than I had run the 50-miler last year. Maybe I had made a big rookie mistake, or maybe I was just having an awesome day. My dad took care of me again, changing shoes and socks, dousing my bandana in water, and letting me chug a couple of cups of soup. Troy Limb was also there, ready to do anything needed. I sat down to take a 5 minute break and enjoyed the clapping from all the 50k/50m finishers who were grabbing beers and having a good time. Better get out of here before they suck me in!

Garett was right – knowing that you’re on the second half makes a big mental difference. It also made a big difference to see my Dad at each of the aid stations, full of smiles and encouragement. The trail was much more lonely on this lap, although I could still see Eric Chitwood setting a fast pace in front of me. I sang to myself in bass tones (thanks to the 100-memory card reminding me that’s what Dave did in church), did math problems in my head, and thought of how big Sophie is getting. I was feeling the miles, but my stomach, mind, and soul were doing great.

(Mile 55 - easier to see in the sunlight!)

The shadows got longer and my strides got shorter as I headed into Tunnel Creek aid station for the second time (mile 60). My dad was there again, meaning he hiked up Tunnel Creek twice! He decided to join me on the second loop of Red House. As we headed down the steep descent cautiously, Rob Evans and his pacer went flying by – Rob was definitely feeling good. Red House did its best to suck me dry of excess energy, and we finished the loop about 10 minutes slower than the first time. When we came back to Tunnel Creek (mile 66), I began to feel a level of bone-tired fatigue I wasn’t used to – and I was only 2/3 done!

(Long shadows over Marlett Lake)

The next 9 miles were tough, as I struggled with fatigue and the closing darkness. Clearly I haven’t done enough night running on tired legs, and my pace slowed considerably. Jasper Halekas went by again, screaming fast. The second figure in the dark was Mark Gilligan, having a fantastic race! Apparently Eric Clifton had dropped at 50 miles, and Mark had made his way through the pack. Molly Zurn caught up to me (first female), pacing like a pro. I stayed on her pace the best I could, and we watched the sun set over the mountains. I couldn’t believe we were still going through the night! We caught up to Sean Meissner about mile 72, and he was definitely suffering. But that never stops Sean from having words of encouragement for Molly and me.

(Darkness swallows up the trail)

I pulled into the Mt. Rose aid station (mile 75), still smiling and ready for some warmer clothes. Thomas Reiss was there (he had won the 50-miler), and he and his wife helped my Dad get me in front of a heater to collect my energy. The volunteers (especially Sarah) were great! They said I was one of few people smiling, and that there had been some drops from altitude, sun exposure, injury, hydration, and more. A lot can go wrong in these races, that’s for sure. Sarah pointed out that I was still 1 hour and 20 minutes ahead of the sub-24 pace, despite taking my time on the last section. So I grabbed more food and headed out.

The stretch back to Tunnel Creek was a lonely one, with the exception of the headlights coming the other way. Behind the lights I heard the familiar voices of Anil and Rajeev, Chet Fairbanks, Peter Lubbers, Chihping Fu, and more, all having a great time. It was eerie to not know where I was on the trail, my reality pared down to the focal length of my light. I hadn’t realized how draining it was until I got to Tunnel Creek (mile 84) around 1am. None of the food looked good, and my body just wanted to sleep. I washed my face and asked for advice – they recommended some broth in my water bottle, a cup of coffee, and more PB&J's! When I weighed in, however, I was 3 lbs up. The volunteers helped me devise a plan to cut back on the salt, and I hit the trail walking again.

Up ahead, I could see headlights on the hillside miles ahead of me. Oh, how I wanted to be with them! Dave kept me company with memories of fishing in Bemidji, MN, teaching me how to make stained glass art, and having tea parties with his grand-daughter. The stars reflected off Lake Tahoe, making it impossible to see where the land began and the sky ended. The two orange moons (one a reflection) stared back at me like a wolf in hunt as I climbed up Marlett Peak again and made my way to the Hobart aid station.

Hobart (mile 91) looked like a tent party this time, as volunteers hunkered down in the cold behind the white flaps. They all jumped to action as my headlight approached, and were quick to sit me down next to the heater and fix another Ensure smoothie. It was 2:30am, and that meant I had lost all of my banked time for a sub-24 hour finish. But one of the volunteers pointed out that I still had time since the last 6 miles were downhill. It seemed like a good goal, so I headed out to charge the hill.

My mind was racing all over the place, and my body was on overload. The rhythm of my steps and breath was the only thing keeping me goinging forward, up into the windy hills of Snow Peak. I got to the Snow Valley aid station (mile 93), weighed in just one pound over, and noted that I had made up 4 minutes on the sub-24 goal! With that, I went charging down the hill.

The section from Snow Valley seemed extra technical in the dark, and I was kicking rocks left and right (bye, bye toenails). Then suddenly, a rock just reached up and grabbed my left leg like a bear trap, pulling all my muscles and snapping me down on the ground. I seized up for a minute, but quickly got on my feet to keep moving. The first step with my left leg was unable to bear weight, and I went down again. Oh, crap.

Sub-24 instantly faded away, and I had bigger issues to face. I was cold on the hill, looking both ways down the trail and realizing there wasn’t anyone for miles. My knee was swelling fast, but it felt like a muscle thing more so than a joint thing. I had always wondered how people could drop at mile 96…now I know. Four miles of downhill on a bad knee was not going to bode well for the rest of my running season. But I didn’t have a choice – the next aid station was at mile 98, so I had to move forward. I stepped lightly, taking an hour to cover the next two miles. Kim Giminez and her pacer passed me, slowing to make sure I was okay. The sun came up, and my Dad was waiting for me at mile 98. It seemed foolish to stop when I could see the finish across the lake, so my Dad pointed out a branch that could be used as a crutch, and we hobbled our way in to the finish. It took 2 hours and 20 minutes to cover the last 4 miles, but I got there in 25 hours and 18 minutes, good enough for 12th place. In a sick masochistic way, I was kinda glad that those last 4 miles were tough. I had to dig down deep to find the courage to move forward, and I think that really captured the spirit of a 100 that all of us embraced.

(All this for the buckle! They even etched my finish time in the back)

Two sunrises, four packs of M&M’s, 8 PB&J’s, 9 cups of soup, 10 pouches of sunscreen, 15 packs of Clif Blox, 20 gels, and over 1000 ounces of water later, I made it 100 miles! I couldn’t believe how tired I was, but at the same time it seemed surprisingly doable. As I changed into warm clothes, I found out that Jasper Halekas (the new USATF and RRCA 100-mile champion, yes!) had taken two hours of his course record to win in 18 hours, 16 minutes. Mark Gilligan held up his phenomenal pace to get second (19:38), and Rob Evans, Eric Chitwood, and Molly Zurn had finished under 24 hours (full results here). All in all, some fantastic performances by everyone!

(Molly Zurn and Jasper Halekas accept awards from RD's Dave Cotter and Kevin Bigley)

My Dad helped me hobble up to the car, and I couldn’t thank him enough for his help. I was so proud of him! Although I had shared the trail with Dave along the way, I felt privileged that my Dad is still alive and willing to strap on the trail shoes and REALLY share the experience. There is no way I could have done this without him and the wonderful volunteers along the way.

To the RD’s, volunteers, fellow racers, my Dad, and all involved, my deepest thanks for helping me find that finish line. I can honestly say I am a changed man, and learned a lot about myself on the way to getting that belt buckle. I don’t care how nerdy it is to actually wear it, ‘cause I will! And I’m already looking forward to States in ’08. I just need to get a few more night miles in first. ;-)

Congrats, everyone!

- SD

46 comments:

  1. Scott, congratulations! You are an incredible athlete and I find your writings to be very inspirational. I hope to meet you on the trail someday!!

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  2. I have yet to finish the whole report, work calls but great pics as usual and what a fancy nice buckle they give out at TRT. Most of all just wanted to congratulate you on your first 100 before I take off. May there be more to come. 50ks will never be the same again after this:) I'll be sure to be back for the rest of the story.

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  3. Where are your night time pictures? ha, ha. It was great to meet you at the race, and congrats on the first 100! 25 hours is a great time for a first 100, and surely you can go faster if you want. But dont stop taking pictures!!!

    Malcolm

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  4. Scott,

    What strikes me most about you is that you never ever lose that smile on your face! You are a fantastically positive person and it is that attitude that probably helped you during those painfully hard last 4 miles. I know what I went through during those same miles. They never seemed to end. It must have been even harder for you.

    You are a phenomenal athlete. I hope the injury is not serious and you are back to running soon.

    There are pics of you on my blog and on http://public.fotki.com/rajeevtherunner/2007trt100m/

    Rajeev

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  5. Thanks, Rajeev! I would say the same about you - I always looked forward to seeing you on the trail, since I knew you would be eternally positive. You did not disappoint, even in the middle of the night! Congrats on a great finish.

    Doc says my knee is fine, just some torn muscles in my left quad. Nothing a little rest and light rehab can't cure. But I will say the rest of my body is ACHING...I don't know how you do this many times a year! You too, Rick...

    SD

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  6. Scott,

    Congratulations! I hope you savor your accomplishment for a long time. Not just anybody can do what you just did. I never had any doubt that you would finish and finish well, though. And you demonstrated true ultra spirit by toughing out those last few miles.

    -Jasper

    P.S. You never spell Sean's or my last name right, but we still like you anyway!

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  7. Wow Scott. I can't imagine what those last 4 miles were like for you. I hope you heal up fast!

    Great report and great pics! It's always a treat to read a good report from a first timer at a particular distance.

    Great to meet you as well and see you at 9Trails where hopefully I'll be running!

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  8. Scott,

    first of all congratulations and you sure were heading for an excellent time before your fall (though obviously 25 hours is still way impressive!).

    Knowing from your many race reports how well and strong you finish on those distances and the way you describe
    it clearly 100 miles took a bit more effort (even for you :-) ) than usually. This makes it all the more impressive the achievement of all those runners who do several 100 mile races a year.

    So have you found new love in the 100 mile distance? Or will it take a few days before you can make up your mind :-)


    All the best with your knee and thanks for the great race report once again!

    Mick (UK)

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  9. congrats, scott! it was amazing seeing you coming up marlette peak looking so fresh at mile 60 something. thanks for the encouragements along the way and way to hang tough for a strong finish. you are a true inspiration. hope your recovery is quick. i'll see you at rio del lago.

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  10. Congrats! I enjoy reading your blog and hope to get into trail running sometime in the near future (then eventually ultras.) You make even the 100 miler seem fun!

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  11. What a blast! Glad to hear you enjoyed the experience and that your injury isn't too severe.

    Either you were hallucinating at the halfway point, or your mind hasn't recovered yet:

    "...all the 50k/50m finishers who were grabbing bears and having a good time."

    Normally I don't point out typos, but that one is too funny to pass up!

    Congrats on a solid race!

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  12. Scott,
    Great job in toughing it out! You guys were all blazing fast there this year! Savor the "high" of your finish (and buckle) and enjoy the experience it will now give you taking on ANY challenge.
    Nice work.
    Rod Bien

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  13. Okay, okay...spelling errors corrected!

    Mick, I'm definitely a fan of the 100-miler. But you're right - now is not the time to think of the next one. I'm still using both hand rails to get down the stairs. ;-)

    SD

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  14. GREAT job, Scott- you did an awesome job- cannot imagine doing that!

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  15. Mark Gilligan time was actually 19:38.

    see you in a few miles....Mike Hayden

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  16. Dunlap,

    You rock. Congratulations.

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  17. Scott, you are the kind of guy who will finish anything he sets his mind to - Diablo showed that.

    btw - did you know that you are a resident of Incline Village? ;)

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  18. Actually, I AM a resident of Incline Village, NV! But I only live up there 2-3 months out of the year. I sure would like to do more, but the whole "job thing" gets in the way. ;-)

    If TRT is on the schedule next year, let's do a party at my place beforehand and I can prove it!

    SD

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  19. Congratulations, Scott! Thanks for the great report. The pics are beautiful, too.

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  20. Hey, Stud, congratulations! (It was afterall, your destiny.) To look at the glass half full, good thing you didn't get hurt more, and as you said, the harder the struggle, the more cherished the success.

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  21. What a way to get introduced to a 100M monster! And what a way to fall in LOVE!!!
    Beautiful pictures, need to make it there - lots of sandy trails, huh? The buckle is awesome too!
    Glad your doc was not panicing on your injury, though torn muscles in quads doesn't sound as litely as you try to deliver. Heal up! Sorry I'll miss you at Cool.
    Congrats, Scott, U R Da Man!

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  22. Congratulations Scott!!! What a great report :) You picked such and amazing and tough first 100 miler and just excelled out there (bear trapping like rock non-withstanding :) ). Hope you heal up soon and are floating on the endorphins of a job well done!
    (the pictures of sophie with her running ensemble are great btw. And I love the ones of her in the little pink bonnet and sundress at the lake. You've certainly raised a cutie!!)

    Congrats again :D

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  23. Great job Scott! We have been living the ultra life vicariously through your blog. Sunday, I leaned back to my buddy in church, and whispered, "how do you think Dunlap is doing?" And we live in Louisiana. Keep the posts coming, you've got us hooked. And to the people pointing out typos, get a flippin lfie. You guys try running 100 miles, take pics, tear a quad and post. The bear thing was funny though.

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  24. Scott,

    I was really impressed to see you (I was Rob's pacer) on the Red House loop with your dad. Both Rob and I commented how memorable it would be to be out running that infamous loop in the later part of a 100 mile race with our fathers.

    Cherish the memories. They have to be the best part of running 100 miles.

    Sam

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  25. Great Scott!

    Congratulation on your first 100 miler. I get the sense that you have many more in you, but you will never, ever forget your first one.

    It was a great personal lift to see you out there and I found myself running vicariously through you as I watched you head out for the second loop. I knew that you'd rock it, given your fitness, talent, and (most importantly) upbeat spirit.

    See ya out there!

    - Garett

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  26. Hi Scott,

    Cool pics! Tell Rob he's getting soft in his old age. 14 years ago he would have never had his tatoos showing. He would always wear long sleeve bike jerseys no matter what to protect them from the sun. Tell him hi for me if you get a chance. It's good to see that he's running again. He's probably still making fun of tri geeks though.

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  27. Congratulations Scott!
    It was wonderful seeing you and meeting your dad out at Mt. Rose. You were definitely the freshest, most positive runner I encountered at Mile 76. You lifted my spirits and looked so strong. Way to persevere after your rough fall! Between your inspiring race report and party offer, I don't know how I can resist registering for TRT '08! Heal up and I'll see you soon.

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  28. Thanks for leaving comments, everyone! It's so much fun to hear from all of you.

    Garett - can't thank you enough for your words of wisdom as you passed by (and in preparation for the race). It was a huge boost.

    Sam - nice work in pacing Rob to a spectacular finish! I sure did have a great time with my Dad, although I somehow managed to not get a picture of him! Alas. But you're right it was special to share that dreaded Red House Loop with him. Comrades in arms for sure.

    To you spellcheckers - I actually rely on you guys to catch my errors, so thanks for letting me know. I have until midnight after a post to correct things, otherwise Feedburner sends everyone a second copy. Jasper - I'll get your name right someday!

    SD

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  29. Scott- You are an inspiration! I know exactly what mile the rock came and bit you because it was hard enough during the day time! It was great to see you out there, and I am so glad you finished--still with a good time! Next year you need to host a pre and post race party so we can get together and share stories! ;)
    I finally got my RR up. What a great day, I love this course!
    I hope your injury heals quickly. It was a pleasure seeing you again!

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  30. congratulations, scott! i was up at 4a this morning working, when your blog entry hit my email box. all day long i've been suffering from "belt buckle envy". thanks for the great race report and your continuing inspiration.

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  31. Wow. Congrats Scott! Hope the knee heals fast.

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  32. congratulations, scott!

    awesome race report as usual.

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  33. Gretchen posted a pic of me and my Dad on her blog (taken by Jessica Deline). See, he was there! ;-)

    SD

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  34. Congratulations, Scott! Great to read your report and see all the pics - I especially like the adorable ones of Sophie. She IS getting big...and staying awfully cute!!

    Great job out there - and I look forward to reading about many more hundred finishes in the future.

    Sarah

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  35. Hey, Scott, this is awesome. I am so envious. What a great achievement. One of these days, maybe if I find a fraction of the courage you have I will attempt an ultra also. You are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your experience with the rest of us.

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  36. congratulations scott!!! no taking any wrong turns thank goodness :')

    way to tackle that monster!!! jeff thought it was his hardest 100 by far. he was in "survival" mode from mile 15!

    relish in your accomplishment!!! recover. you had a fantasic race! way to go!
    tom riley

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  37. congrats Scott, you were in deadly form seeing you couple of times out there.. even during mid 80's you seemed in good shape.. sorry about the accident in the last downhill, hope you are feeling better.

    amazing effort following death ride!

    goodluck on next one
    anil

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  38. Great report Scott. Hope the knee heals fine. That was a masochistic thought about the last 4 miles but your ultra running friends understand. It won't be the last, haha. Here's to your next 100. What a great time despite the knee.

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  39. Congrats on your first 100, quite an accomplishment and way to tough it out the last 4 miles despite such a stroke of bad luck. I finished my first 50 miler yesterday and despite the sore legs am already looking forward to my next ultra. I enjoy your blog and keep up the good work. Dave

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  40. Great report Scott! I had a blast running with you. Unfortunately, around mile 70 injury forced me to drop. Congratulations on your first hundred finish and good luck with your recovery,

    kelly

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  41. Scott,
    Attaboy on a great first 100! The wipe-out, although I'm sure very painful, and crutch make the story and adventure even more cool. Thanks for taking time to walk very slowly with me for a few minutes as you passed by. I really appreciated it.

    That's hilarious about mine and Jasper's last names. I've noticed it, but never cared to tell you. Jasper told me he's a stats geek...oh, what's said on the trail is supposed to stay on the trail. Oops. Jasper is right, though - we still do like you, anyway.

    Congrats, my friend. Recover well, eat lots, and enjoy time with the fam. See you back at Tahoe in 2 months for some paved pleasure.

    Sean

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  42. Hey Scott,
    Always a pleasure seeing you out on course. I was so glad to catch up to you when I did! And thanks for the awesome picture (oh yeah, and I did see the picture in Marathon & Beyond). Glad you are a Chia believer. My next recommendation (if you can remember...) Maca!

    See you out there again soon!

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  43. Amazing! what a great detailed account of an incredible feat.

    I am just starting to delve into trail running. I am doing The Ultimate XC --Jay Endition this summer.

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  45. Hey... it was good seeing you coming out of Mich Bluff on Sat (WS training wknd 2009)... I had to read your TRT post after you told me your story. The text doesn't give it justice. In all my running I don't know of any greater finish under any more severe conditions. Good luck at WS 2009.

    grant

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